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Brief Cases

Written by: Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files, Book 15.5
Length: 15 hrs and 30 mins
5 out of 5 stars (186 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An all-new Dresden Files story headlines this urban fantasy short story collection starring the Windy City's favorite wizard. 

The world of Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is rife with intrigue - and creatures of all supernatural stripes. And you'll make their intimate acquaintance as Harry delves into the dark side of truth, justice, and the American way in this must-have short story collection. 

From the Wild West to the bleachers at Wrigley Field, humans, zombies, incubi, and even fey royalty appear, ready to blur the line between friend and foe. In the never-before-published "Zoo Day", Harry treads new ground as a dad, while fan-favorite characters Molly Carpenter, his onetime apprentice, White Council Warden Anastasia Luccio, and even Bigfoot stalk through the pages of more classic tales. 

With 12 stories in all, Brief Cases offers both longtime fans and first-time listeners tantalizing glimpses into Harry's funny, gritty, and unforgettable realm, whetting their appetites for more to come from the wizard with a heart of gold. 

Collection includes: 

  • "A Fistful of Warlocks" (from Straight Outta Tombstone, edited by David Boon), read by Cassandra Campbell
  • "B Is for Bigfoot" (from Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, edited by Jonathan Strahan), read by James Marsters 
  • "AAAA Wizardry" (from the Dresden Files RPG), read by James Marsters 
  • "I Was a Teenage Bigfoot" (from Blood Lite 3: Aftertaste, edited by Kevin J. Anderson), read by James Marsters 
  • "Curses" (from The Naked City, edited by Ellen Datlow), read by James Marsters 
  • "Even Hand" (from Dark and Stormy Knights, edited by P. N. Elrodread), read by Jim Butcher 
  • "Bigfoot on Campus" (from Hex Appeal, edited by P. N. Elrod), read by James Marsters 
  • "Bombshells" (from Dangerous Women, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois), read by Julia Whelan
  • "Cold Case" (from Shadowed Souls, edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie Hughes), read by Julia Whelan 
  • "Jury Duty" (from Unbound, edited by Shawn Speakman), read by James Marsters 
  • "Day One" (from Unfettered II, edited by Shawn Speakman), read by Oliver Wyman 
  • "Zoo Day" (original), read by James Marsters 

*The author’s notes that precede each story are read by the author.  

©2018 Jim Butcher (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Brief Cases

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

every Dresden thing to like or find annoying

I liked how there were stories that focused on characters who were not Dresden and that dealt with situations he was absent from, particularly one focused on Luccio set in the old west, and another with Murphy where she has to deal with the Fomor without backup from Dresden.
Another favourite is a sequence where we finally get to see Dresden spent real time with his kid and he takes her to the zoo. We get it from his perspective, his kid's perspective, and even the point of view of Mouse. When they are all put together it's satisfying to see how much more was going on than any one character was aware of and how much each of them was dealing with things the other two were unaware of.

There are a few Molly stories. It's nice to see more of what she went through but on the other hand an aspect of how the author writes her character gets a bit tiresome. We get it, Molly is super hot, and a young woman, and so attractive and young!, and willing to use her hotness for the greater good! There are stores that lean into that to the point where it becomes annoying. There is a bit of that in many of the other Dresden books with Molly and other characters so if you've read those and didn't notice it before chances are it won't detract here.

James Marsters and the rest of the cast do a great job. James Marsters truly is the voice of Dresden and embodies him as a character very well.

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this was crap

I want my money back. it's not even James marsters reading the material. this is garbage. the sound quality is shit and the stories are boring and fuck. this was the complete opposite of the Dresden files

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Classic dresden fair

Excellent stories. loved the stories from other points of view. Great book for the true Dresden fan.

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Marvelous!

I just wish I knew all the bigfoot stories were included in this book but still loved it!

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This is one awesome book.

Overall I lived the ride. But my favourite story was the trip to the zoo.

Please give me more Moly and Mouse.

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Easy read

Excellent collection of short stories that add meat to the Dresden files series. Really nice piece to hold me over between novels.

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Includes Bigfoot stories

I love Harry Dresden. It's a nice collection of stories. #Audible1 I'm waiting anxiously for the next novel!!! The use of multiple readers is fine when the stories are told by other characters. James Marsters will always be the voice of Harry Dresden in my mind.

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Continuing to knock it out of the park

The many stories fleshed out here really add to the depth and breadth of the Dresden Universe. Seeing perspectives other than Harry's really gives those characters life in a way that you don't see from the viewpoint of Harry.

Another sparkling performance by James Masters as #Audible1 gives us another great book in the Dresden Files.

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Great for Fans of the Dresden Files

While we all wait for Jim Butcher to finish writing Peace Talks, we have this new short story collection to sate our appetite. Most of the stories in this book have already appeared in different short story collections but that doesn't mean it's not worth getting. The final story is a new original one, and that was enough for me to want to read it. Once again James Marsters does an excellent job with the stories he reads, but the other narrators are great also. I heartily endorse this collection for any fan of the Dresden Files who may or may not be impatiently waiting for the next book in the series. *cough cough* Peace Talks *cough cough* #Audible1

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great listen

I really enjoyed listening to this book. It was wonderful to hear other character perspectives.

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  • Ronald G. Overton
  • 2018-06-06

The original story is great

Quite a lot of this collection has been released elsewhere. Those stories are quite good, but I'm not exactly psyched about buying material I've already enjoyed and having it duplicated. The couple remaining stories and the new original Zoo Day were VERY good and made me hungry for more Dresden again. Worth the price if most of these are new to you. Worth the credit, at least for me, for the few that were new.

57 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-06-05

Let's be honest, we all came for Zoo Day.

Brief Cases is a series of short stories following brief moments in Harry Dresden and his friends strange lives and each are lovely.
Yes, I purchased the audiobook purely for the last story, Zoo Day(as I had read the others except Day One), and I was not disappointed at all. Without giving much away, Zoo Day has alot more meat than you'd expect. Just a lovely story read by a lovely man.

30 people found this helpful

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  • J.A.
  • 2018-07-30

James should have read the WHOLE thing

James Marsters IS the Dresden-virse. If it was a matter of scheduling they should have waited until he could read the WHOLE THING. They've done it before. John Glover read Ghost Story first and now you can't find that version here if you wanted to, they don't even give him credit for the performance. Personally, I liked Glover's performance but the fan base was so up in arms they re-recorded the story with James. They should do it again with this collection. I don't review things much but, all I can say is that while I enjoyed most of the material, it just isn't the same without James throughout the book.

43 people found this helpful

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  • ChatNoirPottery
  • 2018-07-02

Recycled Stories

Too many previously released stories, not enough new ones, although they are all well done.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Jeff
  • 2018-06-05

Not enough new stuff

As always, I loved the stories, however there was not enough new material to have waited this long for a new Dresden book. I felt a little cheated to have used up a credit for only 3 new-to-me stories.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Joy Baker
  • 2018-06-05

Splendid Stories

The last one most especially, with differing viewpoints. Gotta love Harry and his friends. Now hurry up with the next book, dammit.

36 people found this helpful

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  • MaD
  • 2018-07-11

This one was just a meh for me.

This is for the audio version. I am so used to James Marsters doing the dialogue that I seriously cannot get into the story very well when someone other than James is reading. Although the female that voiced Molly Carpenter did a really good job and that was a very interesting story, my 2nd fave beside the bigfoot trilogy. i hope we see River Shoulders and Irwin again!

I did not care for the one set in the old west, mostly because I've never invested in Luccio's character. And she always seemed more of a plot device than an actual person and that doesn't normally happen in the Dresden verse. I think that Jim Butcher does a great job of making us care for all the characters and show us their good and their bad sides, but she falls short for me.

I really enjoyed the Bigfoot stories and I thought those were extremely well done.

The one I did not care for at all was the one from Marcone's viewpoint and (going out on a limb to say that that one was voiced by Jim Butcher??). Regardless, I don't like his voice. I like his writing, when he leaves off the "me man you woman crap", but really cannot stand his voice. 😔 Even his prologues to each story were grating on my ears. His diction is great but that does not mean he is a great speaker. And that story was the worst of the pile for me. I like Marcone and feel he's went a lot more toward offering a truce than Harry has and this story bugged me because it felt out of character for him. Kind of like a way for us to understand Harrys dislike of the man by putting his words into Marcone's mouth and then to our ears. it didn't work for me.

The story from three points of view at the end..the new one, was okay and it was interesting to see that there might be developments of Maggie and Mouse for the future but I would have skipped this one since I have read all the stories prior except the last one.

Butcher sets the bar so high and James IS Harry Dresden. I would have rather he work on Peace Talks and Mirror Mirror than another anthogy. jmo.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ray Johnson
  • 2018-06-12

Mostly old stories with one new one hoped for more

After waiting one hella long time for a new Dresden book to come out, Butcher finally gave us a taste of something new. One new short story out of a collection of previously published tales. Now what gets my goat is that he re-collects his bigfoot trilogy here, meaning that he had already had a book just for those tales. I am severely P.O.'d that they were included here, since I had already purchased the Working for Bigfoot book a long time ago. That would be like taking three stories from Cold Cases and re-presenting them here. That would upset a lot of buyers, paying for the same set of stories twice. That move cost 2 stars in the overall. Either write a few extra shorts to fluff out your book, or don't recycle. I might have been able to stomach 1 retread, but not 3.

As for the narration, Marsters does not do all of the voice work. Molly's two stories are read by a lady, Julia Whelan, who does a very nice job, but I would have preferred James. It grated on me when she would say Leanan Sidhe. James says it as La-non-she, she says it as La-nan-she, and it just pushed me out of the story. Seriously, if you are going to narrate a short for a series that has a rabid devotion to its narrator do some simple research. Butter's tale is also not by Marsters, and I see no reason for that at all. Wyman isn't bad, but, again, no reason for it to not be Marsters. The first story, A Fistful of Warlocks by Cassandra Campbell was just flat. I would have preferred Whelan over Campbell. She did not do Anastasia justice. So, overall I am dissatisfied with the narration. That was one star off, I have to be fair, and I understand Marsters can't do everything, but Campbell hurt the story and I barely got through it.

The one shining moment of this book was the last story, A day at the Zoo, in which we got three very different events for the people involved. Maggie, Harry, and Mouse all have a connected but seperate set of experiences while at the zoo, and for me, finally getting to see things from Mouse's perspective was the one thing that made this collection worthwhile. Does it make up for the incredibly long wait we have been forced to endure? No, but at least it shows Butcher can still write Harry adventures. I'm sure I'm being overly critical, because hey, who doesn't like paying for the same exact thing twice? Have a favorite narrator? Let's not use him for eveything! Man, I get that sometimes you want a woman to read a story from a woman's perspective, but marsters has been living these characters for years. If he can't pull off Molly and Anastasia stories who can?

I'm all for collecting tales that not everyone could find, but this was a big disappointment. It is not fantastic, I don't have rose colored glasses on and I do not think that Butcher can do no wrong. There are a lot of things wrong with this book. Nothing horrible, but I really expected more.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Gargamont
  • 2018-06-07

I already own most of these.

The bad news is if you're a die hard Dresden fan you probably already own most of these contained in other anthologies. The good news is if you don't own the rest of the anthologies you can skip all the mediocre writing in the others and get your concentrated Dresden fix here. Plus there is a little bit of new material. Disappointingly little, but some.

14 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Customer
  • 2018-06-06

not enough new material to justify price.

I am giving the collection 2 stars because it does not have enough new material. the stories are great and I enjoyed them the first time I purchased them. About 1/3 of the book was previously released as working for Bigfoot. of the remaining stories most of them have been released in other anthologie that if you are a Dresden fan you have gotten multiple recomdations for.

if you have not purchased any of the other books the stores were published in the past it is worth every penny.

27 people found this helpful